Carnivorous dinosaurs, what did they eat?

This September 2019 video says about itself:

Theropod Dinosaurs Size Comparison

The theropod (meaning “beast-footed”) dinosaurs are a diverse group of bipedal saurischian dinosaurs. They include the largest terrestrial carnivores ever to have made the earth tremble. In this video, we compare the sizes of various prehistoric theropods. From the smallest(Anchiornis) to the largest (Spinosaurus).

List of theropods in this Comparison video:


From the University of Bristol in England:

Discriminating diets of meat-eating dinosaurs

November 4, 2019

A big problem with dinosaurs is that there seem to be too many meat-eaters. From studies of modern animals, there is a feeding pyramid, with plants at the bottom, then plant-eaters, and then meat-eaters at the top.

A new study by scientists at the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, published in the journal Palaeontology, shows that dinosaurian meat-eaters, the theropod dinosaurs, specialised a great deal, and so broadened their food base.

The big ones, such as Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, fed on other dinosaurs. But there were also lots of small meat-eaters that probably fed on other animals such as lizards and mammals. And some of the theropods even became plant-eaters.

Joep Schaeffer carried out the study as part of his studies for the MSc in Palaeobiology at Bristol. He said: “I was always mad about tyrannosaurs and other meat-eating dinosaurs, but this study tested my computing ability.

“I measured everything I could from the jaws and teeth of 83 theropod dinosaurs, including the giants, but also small ones the size of a turkey.”

Professor Emily Rayfield, who co-led the research, added: “Our idea was to describe every possible jaw shape and tooth shape in terms of about 80 measurements.

“Were all these meat-eaters feeding in the same way on the same things? If so, that would mean a lot of competition.”

Professor Mike Benton, who also co-led the research, said: “We also had problems in deciding which computational method to use.

“We could simply treat all the separate measurements as part of the mix, or we could measure so-called landmarks, where we make an outline of the jaw and tooth shape by marking dots round the edge.

So, in the end, Joep ran his analyses using each possible measurement method, and we compared the results.”

Dr Tom Stubbs, who also worked on the study, added: “These kinds of studies are very informative. We have a huge amount of data from many excellent specimens, but there are many different ways of analyzing the data.

“We were able to show that it didn’t matter which was used to do the calculations, we found the same results — tyrannosaurs were different from all the other theropods, and there were big differences between the theropods.”

The analyses separated out three groups — the large dinosaur-eaters, the small carnivores and the herbivores. In particular, the tyrannosaurs such as T. rex were quite distinct — they had deeper jaws and more powerful teeth than any of the other theropods, and so had evidently evolved particular ways of dealing with large prey.

The other key finding is that the maniraptoriform theropods — those most closely related to birds — show the greatest amount of variation in jaw shapes. This suggests, but does not prove, that they had the greatest range of functions.

Joep Schaffer added: “Tyrannosaurs were good at subduing large prey with their massive jaws. So, they all had the same kinds of jaws and teeth. But the maniraptoriforms were experimenting with a wide range of smaller prey, maybe from small dinosaurs to early mammals and lizards… even some large, juicy insects.

“This meant they had evolved a much wider array of kinds of jaws and teeth, and while many probably continued to hunt prey on the ground, others might have become specialized to hunting in the trees and pursuing fast-moving prey.”

Vulturine guineafowl complex societies, new research

This 17 September 2019 video from Kenya says about itself:

Paula Kahumbu joins Wildlife Warrior Brendah Nyaguthii at Mpala Research Centre, to learn about the vulturine guinea fowls.

a href=””>From the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Germany:

Complex society discovered in birds

November 4, 2019

Multilevel societies have, until now, only been known to exist among large-brained mammals including humans, other primates, elephants, giraffes, and dolphins. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and the University of Konstanz report the existence of a multilevel society in a small-brained bird, the vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum). The study, published in Current Biology, suggests that the birds can keep track of social associations with hundreds of other individuals — challenging the notion that large brains are a requirement for complex societies and providing a clue as to how these societies evolved.

Multilevel societies occur when social units, such as pairs, of animals form groups that have stable membership, and these groups then associate preferentially with specific other groups. Because this requires the animals to keep track of individuals in both their own and other groups, the assumption has long been that multilevel societies should only exist in species with the intelligence to cope with this complexity. While many bird species live in groups, these are either open, lacking long-term stability, or highly territorial, lacking associations with other groups.

Vulturine guineafowl, however, present a striking exception: the researchers observed these birds, that are from an ancient lineage resembling dinosaurs more than birds, behaving highly cohesively without exhibiting the signature intergroup aggression that is common in other group-living birds. And they can manage this despite having a relatively small brain, even relative to other birds. “They seemed to have the right elements to form complex social structures, and yet nothing was known about them,” says Danai Papageorgiou, lead author on the paper and a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior.

The study, which is the first ever conducted on the species, involved tracking social relationships over the course of multiple seasons in a population of over 400 adult birds in a field site in Kenya. The researchers individually marked all birds in the population, and by observing them they discovered that the population comprised 18 distinct social groups (with 13 to 65 individuals in each). What struck the researchers is that these groups remained stable, despite regularly overlapping with one or more other groups both during the day and at night-time roosts. To see if these groups preferentially associated with one another, the researchers attached GPS tags to a sample of individuals in each group. This meant that the position of every single group was recorded continuously each day, which allowed researchers to simultaneously observe how all 18 groups in the population were interacting. The researchers found that groups associated with each other based on preference, rather than random encounters, and also showed that intergroup associations were more likely to take place during specific seasons and around particular physical features in the landscape.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time a social structure like this has been described for birds,” says Papageorgiou. “It is remarkable to observe hundreds of birds coming out of a roost and splitting up perfectly into completely stable groups every single day. How do they do that? It’s obviously not just about being smart.”

Despite being understudied, guineafowl have challenged our understanding of how sociality has evolved. “This discovery raises a lot of questions about the mechanisms underlying complex societies and has opened up exciting possibilities of exploring what is it about this bird that has made them evolve a social system that is in many ways more comparable to a primate than to other birds,” says Damien Farine, senior author on the paper and a Principal Investigator at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz.

But, vulturine guineafowl hold some important clues about how complex societies might have evolved. “Many examples of multilevel societies — primates, elephants and giraffes — might have evolved under similar ecological conditions as vulturine guineafowl,” says Farine.

Jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington interviewed

This 31 October 2019 music video from the USA says about itself:

Malcolm-Jamal Warner features on “Bells (Ring Loudly)”, from the new album from Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, ‘Waiting Game’.

By Chris Searle in Britain:

Monday, November 4, 2019

Interview ‘We do what we can and hope it has a ripple effect’

Jazz musician TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON explains to Chris Searle why themes of social justice in the Trump era inform her latest album

TOP US jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, who’s played and recorded with some of the most luminous figures of post-war jazz including Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, is about to release Waiting Game, a new album by her band Social Science.

It’s to be launched in Britain at two concerts during the London Jazz Festival at Kings Place on November 15 and 16.

As a girl in Boston Carrington grew up “in a house where jazz was on all the time,” she says. “I started on alto sax and moved to drums at seven, when I lost my first set of teeth. I listened to and played jazz but loved R ’n’ B too.”

She was inspired by the master drummers and “I met them and hung out with them all because my dad, a musician like my grandfather, knew them all, particularly Papa Jo Jones.

“I sat in with Max [Roach], Art [Blakey], Roy [Haynes] and Buddy Rich got me my first endorsements.” Her first professional gig was with the Duke Ellington trumpeter Clark Terry and at 18 she began to play with him regularly.

The great drummer Roach, who campaigned tirelessly through his music for civil rights, was a major influence. “I found Max’s work inspiring,” she says, “as well as all of the other musicians who focused on social justice.

“I’ve never been able to separate my music from my being — not so much about my drumming, as much as it is about my writing and production.”

Another inspiration has been her “good friend” Angela Davis, who wrote the sleeve notes of her epochal album Jazz is a Spirit and whose voice contributed to another, Mosaic.

“Echoes of the past are always reverberating in the present,” she says.

“Resistance is a big part of our history and a part of the spirit of jazz itself. We are channelled from our ancestors and evolving from a past that never leaves us, although the foundation of anything I offer musically is the sum total of whatever I am or whatever I’m feeling at any given moment.”

Profoundly contemporary and musically mature, Waiting Game is a album which alerts its listeners in its lyrics that “complacency has a price” in the age of Trump.

“How long can freedom wait/ Before we hear it ring?” it asks and its track titles — Trapped in the American Dream, No Justice (for Political Prisoners) or the heavily ironic Pray the Gay Away — make its themes explicit.

“We have to comment truthfully on what we feel and what we experience,” she declares. “Others will identify with that and find it inspiring, yet others will be disturbed.

“It will serve as a reachable moment for some. So we do what we can and hope it has a ripple effect. These issues are universal, so citizens of many countries can identify with them.”

Go and hear her with Social Science and be prepared to be provoked, moved and inspired.

Waiting Game is released on Motema Records. Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science play Kings Place in London on November 15 and 16, box office:

American northern saw-whet owls

This March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Injured Owl Rescued | Cute Saw-Whet Owl | Released Back into the Wild

An owl crashed into our window today and was injured. Watch as the injured owl is rescued and then flew around our house.

We thought this was a baby owl, possibly a great horned owl baby, but we found that this is a Northern Saw-Whet Owl, which is the smallest owl in North America. This was an adult owl but it was stunned after smashing into my window and was laying out in the cold snow and looked like it was going to die. The injured owl was rescued by my daughter who placed it into a box in the house, away from predatory cats that live outside (not my cats).

Soon the owl recovered and flew across our living room to another window and then back to another window and landed right next to my cat. It is amazing that my cat was so confused that he did not even try to attack the owl. Our cat was absolutely bewildered and just sat there as the owl flapped its wings and landed ON the cat. We released the owl back to the outdoors and it landed on a table outside. Soon it flew off to a nearby coniferous tree where is sat safely and recovered the rest of the day.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

Meet the Cutest Owls in North America—and the Banders Who Study Them

A Northern Saw-whet Owl could fit in the palm of your hand, but it’s a predator through and through, with a fierce gaze and blazing yellow eyes. For decades these secretive owls were scarcely known at all. Then came Project Owlnet, a grassroots banding program that discovered these tiny mousers are actually quite common and widespread. Author and Owlnet veteran Scott Weidensaul takes you out for a night of banding in our Living Bird story.

Saw-whet Owls in Your Backyard? NestWatch has custom nest box plans just the right size for this little owl (and more than 50 other species, too).

Trump government arrests journalist for Venezuela reports

After lack of press freedom in Australia and in the Netherlands, now the USA.

This 3 November 2019 video says about itself:

Journalist Max Blumenthal arrested on false charge in DC

Pushback with Aaron Maté

The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal speaks out on his arrest months after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence at the DC embassy. Blumenthal was seized from his home by a group of officers and held for two days in cells and cages. His arrest warrant labels him as “armed and dangerous”. Blumenthal says the charges are false and a retaliation against The Grayzone’s journalism on the US-backed coup in Venezuela and corrupt members of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition carrying it out.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, Editor of The Grayzone and author of “The Management of Savagery.”

ACLU SUES TRUMP FOR DETAINING JOURNALISTS The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it is suing Trump’s administration for tracking, detaining and interrogating journalists while they were reporting on U.S.-Mexico border conditions. [HuffPost]

Top 5 Asian animals, BBC video

This 2 November 2019 video says about itself:

Top 5 Asian Animals | BBC Earth

From clueless yet adorable pandas to majestic eagles and powerful tigers, we have a wealth of incredible animals to choose from here at BBC Earth. Here are our favourite Asian animal moments.